Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas's comeback has been a painful one so far. (J Pat Carter/AP)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Tim Thomas looked sharp in another start for the Panthers, but couldn't finish it off against the Blackhawks. Team sources aren't offering specifics about his injury, but they did rule out the groin that sidelined Thomas earlier this month.
• The Edmonton Oilers did look a bit like a junior team in the first period last night against Montreal, but used four unanswered goals to shove Lars Eller's insult back down the throats of the Canadiens on the way to a big 4-3 win.
• Ex-goalies tend to make great color men and solid general managers, but Patrick Roy is one of the few to pursue coaching as a second career.
• Enough with the bad news. Mike Russo explains all that is going right for the Minnesota Wild.
• Here's Elliotte Friedman with an inside look at how Seth Jones fell to Nashville at number four in the 2013 draft. We're a month into his rookie season and that day already looks like it could be the best in franchise history.
• Apparently, tonight is some kind of big game for Daniel Alfredsson.
• The highlight of ESPN's 30 For 30 doc on con artist/would-be Islanders' owner John Spano? The moment when he said he would do it all again.
• Damien Cox notes that last night's Ducks-Maple Leafs game featured an unusual pair and two future blueline greats. See what else caught his eye in this Points to Ponder column.
• I guess from now on we'll call this a James Wisniewski hat trick.
• The hip check isn't dead. Man, this game could use a few more like target="_blank">this one, couldn't it?
• It's believed that Dany Heatleyagreed to return a few bucks to the Ottawa Senators to settle a long-running dispute with team owner Eugene Melnyk. So it seems that poor, put-upon Melnyk does get a win every now and then.
• Ryan Lambat makes the case that Henrik Lundqvist might be facing a bigger problem than just a slow start. Considering how much money is on the line for the pending UFA, this could develop into one of the defining stories of the season.
• Fancystats offer up a bit of good news for beleaguered fans of the Philadelphia Flyers. And this time, the numbers are probably right.
• Steven Stamkos says the chance to make Team Canada "means everything" to him. If he wasn't already a lock for the squad, it became all but official yesterday when he was named as one of Samsung's sponsored Olympic athletes.
• Steve Buffery argues that Sochi should be the last stand for women's hockey in the Olympic games. Sadly, he's absolutely right.
• Former NHLer Craig Fisher can't catch a break.
• A World Series-bound member of the St. Louis Cardinals is suffering with his beloved Buffalo Sabres. Good to see him keeping an eye on the home team, but he's going to have bigger problems starting tonight.